The recent Quad summit and the US Afghan peace proposal involving India have prompted Pakistan to seek its strategic importance to the US that has allowed it to milk billions of dollars since the Russian invasion of Afghanistan. The focus of Bidens’ foreign policy is different: withdraw from unwarranted commitments and focus on important issues such as Chinese aggression and coercion by its allies, reactivating its ties with European allies, controlling its nuclear proliferation in West Asia. limiting North Korea’s quest to increase its nuclear assets, ensuring technological advancement and protecting its trade.
U.S. policy, so far, has largely aimed to give Pakistan importance in dealing with the Afghanistan issue. With the Taliban continuing offensive, Pakistan remained the focus of the U.S. as U.S. troops continued to gather. This was despite the fact that Pakistan continued to use terrorism as a state instrument to deal with India, kept the most notorious terrorist near its Army Headquarters and freely indulged in nuclear proliferation activities.
The US decision on the Afghan Peace Process reflected that the Afghan card would lose its value to the US The US intends to withdraw from the region and is prepared to accept the Taliban as a key player in governing Afghanistan. The US Secretary of Defense’s unannounced visit to Kabul on March 20 confirms their impatience to leave that country. Moreover, South Asia does not figure in US foreign policy. Therefore, the Pak authorities were concerned about the possibilities for Pakistan to move out of the focus of US foreign policy. Secretary of State Blinkens’ proposal included convening a UN-led conference for representatives of Russia, China, Pakistan, Iran, India and the United States to discuss a unified approach to supporting peace in Afghanistan. He also incited both the Taliban and the Afghan government. to reach a consensus on Afghanistan’s future constitutional and governing agreements; find a roadmap for a new inclusive government; and agree on the terms of a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire.
This development was unpopular with the Pak authorities. So far Pakistan had managed to use the Afghan card not only to remain strategically important to the US but also to ensure equality with India in US South Asia policy. India’s involvement in the Afghan peace talks was always opposed by Pakistan as this could prevent Pakistan from installing a pro-Pak government in that country to gain strategic depth against India. As the Biden Administrations’ focus shifted from South Asia to the Indo-Pacific, in which India has been given importance and the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan brought to light the authorities Little disturbing prospects of Pakistan’s loss of importance in strategic calculation by no.
In view of the above, the Pak authorities calibrated their approach to remain beneficial to the US There are three dimensions to the new Pak approach. First, realizing that her anti-Indian approach could be counterproductive, especially when India was needed by the US for Indo-Pacific policy, she tactically projected her intentions to improve relations with India. A number of statements were made by the Pak authorities from Prime Minister Pak to Chief of Army Pak. The recent ceasefire agreement was part of the Pak model to project a change in its approach to the region that included relations between the two nuclear weapons neighbors.
Second, Pak authorities began projecting Pakistan’s importance to the US economic interest Pakistan National Security Advisor Moeed Yusuf, who had spent more than a decade in the US, forming pro-Pak opinion through groups study, urged the new administration to re-establish US-Pak ties based on geoeconomics rather than geopolitics. He also suggested that the new Pakistan does not want his relationship to be viewed through the lens of any other country.
Yusufs’s offer was followed by Prime Minister Imran Khan’s statement on March 17 that India would benefit economically by having peace with Pakistan as it would allow New Delhi to enter the resource-rich Central Asian region directly. through Pakistani territory. He stressed the central theme of the new Pakistan is its economic location, which is based on co-investment partners like the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). He further added that this was not the only project. In this context, he mentioned that Pakistan, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan had recently signed an agreement on a roadmap for a 573km train line from Tashkent to Peshawar via Kabul. Such projections were intended to project Pakistan as a gateway to Central Asia. It may be recalled that the US for several years considered that Pakistan could provide them with entry into Central Asia.
Similarly, on March 18 General Bajwas stated that Pakistan wants better ties with India. He stated: it is time for both countries to bury the past and move forward. He stressed that peace between the two countries would help help unlock the potential of South and Central Asia: This potential (of South and Central Asia), however, has forever remained hostage to disputes and issues between the two nuclear neighbors. The Kashmir dispute is definitely at the top of this problem.
Third, bringing the Kashmir issue into focus not only as a product of Indian incompatibility, but also as a human rights issue in a subtle way to grab US attention. Both Prime Minister Imran Khan and General Bajwa placed the responsibility for improving relations between the two countries on India. Prime Minister Imran Khan said: India will have to take the first step. If they do not, we can not do much. General Bajwa echoed the same view: Our neighbor will have to create a favorable atmosphere especially in Kashmir. He added that any attempt to improve ties without addressing the core issue would be sensitive to the breakdown of the politically motivated battle. Are they not hinting that India should reinstate Article 370?
Going by the past, you can hardly be optimistic about the possibility of improving connections. Pakistanis seek identity after partition pushed it to adopt anti-India approach. Can current leaders allow the line to change? The simple answer is no. In the past, those Pak leaders who made efforts in this direction were found outside the office before any substantial step was taken. Moreover, will China allow this to happen? Putting responsibility on India to take the first step in Kashmir is a Machiavellian move to put the Kashmir issue in the US focus and that will provide Pakistan with the space it needs in the US strategic calculation. of. So far, Pakistan has not taken any action on terrorists operating from its territory. Every step to improve connections must begin with dismantling the terrorist infrastructure. India needs to keep in focus Pak’s secret motives while dealing with this country.
The views expressed above are those of the author.
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